Jennifer Gramer Obituary, Death – Dr. Jennifer Ann Helen Gramer, 35, died peacefully on August 1, 2023, after a year of sickness. Her gorgeous smile, bright mind, and caring heart impacted many lives, therefore her soul will live on. Jen was born in Boise, Idaho, on Super Bowl Sunday, January 31, 1988. Ironically, her parents just liked Timbers. Her paternal grandmother sent a “Thank You” balloon to the hospital instead of flowers to celebrate having a girl. Julie and Rod Gramer appreciated Jen after a long childless wait. Remember Jen’s birth and life miracle.
Jen was independent and energetic. Her quick mind, strong sense of what she wanted, and resolve to achieve at anything—playing the piano, learning a foreign language, or aceing her academics from elementary school to university—were hers. Jen was joyful, lively, and wanderlust-filled. Her caustic, satirical humour made people laugh and feel comfortable. She served the destitute and was wise beyond her years. A friend observed, “Even at the end of her life Jen was always sensitive to what those she loved needed from her, and she would give it to them.” Jen edited the school paper, played tennis, and skied at Sunset High School in Beaverton, Oregon, while achieving academic success. Her class Valedictorian graduated.
Jen studied history and art history at Syracuse University on a Coronat Scholarship. Jen won many Syracuse Summa Cum Laude degrees. Historical distinction, Hotchkiss Prize winner, Wortman Scholar, Renee Crown Honours student, Syracuse Scholar, and university’s highest honour, Remembrance Scholar. Jen earned for authoring the finest College of Arts and Sciences and university senior honours thesis. Jen chose UW Madison for her history PhD after Syracuse. She chose Wisconsin’s top German history program. Jenny was one of 819 PhD Fulbright Scholars at UW. She researched her doctoral dissertation on how the Nazis utilized art as propaganda and how the German government and society dealt with Nazism after the war for two years on a Fulbright in Germany.
Jen was ahead of her time, like many things. She saw “memory” and “memorials” as a statement on the past before Confederate art, statues, and military bases named after rebel generals divided the US. She gave papers in several U.S. cities, Israel, and England due to her compelling study. After receiving her PhD, Jen helped Madison’s kids succeed academically. She volunteered to help students choose majors. Jen became several students’ academic counsellor through word-of-mouth. Jen taught till her final weeks despite her brave cancer struggle and failing health. Jen has many hobbies. Her movie obsession was quiet. She knew every director, character list, and plot twist from the past 60 years’ big movies. She collected The Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, Linda Ronstadt, Duran Duran, Mavis Staples, Adele, Annie Lenox, and others.
Professors, graduate students, and administrators wrote after Jen’s death. “I was always so happy to see you in my office because you just radiate warmth and have a generosity of spirit that makes everyone around you smile,” remarked one. A dissertation committee professor said, “It’s always a privilege to serve on dissertation committees, but rare are the times I feel genuinely lucky to have been part of the process and proud to have my name on the cover page.” You own the case.” Another graduate student said, “Your friendship helped me survive what was one of the hardest times in my life.” Another said, “You should be sustained knowing how many you have touched and enlightened with your joy, curiosity, and energy. You’re unforgettable, Jen.”
Her maternal grandparents Mary Jean Simis (Nanna) and Donald L. Simis (Boppi) of Gooding, Idaho, and her paternal grandmother Virginia Ruth Gramer (Grammy) of Boise died before Jen. Her uncle Harold Gramer of Tempe, Arizona, died. Her brother Robbie and Kelsey of Washington, D.C., and parents Julie and Rod Gramer of Boise survive her. Rose Cole (Michael) and Jaime and Sam, Anna Halverson (Brett) and Lucy, Molly Wilkinson (Jimmy) and Beau and Josey, Steffi Simis of Bamberg, Germany, and Brian Simis (Xiao) and Mia and Daniel of Dublin, Ireland, are her cousin She is also survived by her close friend Kevin Eggleston of Washington, D.C.
Uncles Rick and Rob Simis (Teresa) of Perryville, Maryland, and Bristol, Virginia, survive Jen. Aunt Mary Ellen Simis of Fairmont, West Virginia; Aunt Joan Harchelroad of Bristow, Virginia; and Aunt Gisela of Bamberg, Germany. Jen always enjoyed pets. She cared for Madison Angel’s Wish pets. She fell in love with foster cat Lily one weekend. Lily and Jen were permanently intertwined. Jen’s best friend Kevin adopted Lily after her death with her agreement. Our family thanks Dr. Marina Sharifi for her talent and compassion in helping Jen fight cancer. Also appreciated are Jen’s kind nurses for months. They calmed Jen professionally. The full Sturgeon Moon illuminated Lake Monona and Madison the morning Jen died. With her parents’ hands, Jen died quietly at 6:27 a.m.
Jen’s cousin Anna and daughter Lucy visited her bedside days before her death. Jen adored Lucy. Jen comforted her, “Lucy, every night when you look up at the moon, I’ll be waving to you.” Her family should remember Jen when they see the moon. Jen may wave back. The University of Madison Fluno Centre, 601 University Avenue, will host Jen’s Life Celebration at 11 a.m. on August 19, 2023. Jen requested a second Celebration of Life in Portland, her hometown, in September. Soon, Portland Celebration will be announced. ‘UW Foundation’ Jennifer A. Gramer Scholarship Fund (#132540178) donations substitute flowers. Send to UW Foundation, US Bank Lockbox 78807, Milwaukee, WI 53278-0807. Donations at http://supportuw.org/giveto/JenGramerMemorial are welcomed. Write Jennifer in her Guestbook. Funeral Services Cress E Washington Ave. 3325 Madison. (608) 249-6666